Why are e-hailing companies sharing your data with the government?

Episode 218 April 04, 2024 00:31:47
Why are e-hailing companies sharing your data with the government?
Techpoint Africa Podcast
Why are e-hailing companies sharing your data with the government?

Apr 04 2024 | 00:31:47


Hosted By

Chimgozirim Nwokoma Oluwanifemi Kolawole Bolu Abiodun

Show Notes

On today's podcast, we discuss:
  • Thepeer's shutdown
  • Sim Shagaya's VC foray
  • Edo State's API for ride-hailing operators
Subscribe to The Modern Workplace/Equity Merchants/, Techpoint Digest/ and  Intelpoint's newsletter/ 
00:00 - Intro
00:50 - Thepeer shutdown
10:34 - Sim Shigaya's VC foray
15:06 - Edo State's API for ride-hailing operators
Useful links
This episode was produced by Ogheneruemu Oneyibo
Email us your feedback at podcast@techpoint.africa. Visit www.techpoint.africa/ for more stories.
Music - Beach by MBB - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEnQ8dHwDSk
Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok @TechpointAfrica
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Tech Points Africa podcast. Today we'll be talking about the nigerian tech startup that shuts down in the course of the week. Then we'll move to a veteran in the nigerian tech ecosystem, Sim Shagaya, and his new venture, which is a fund for african tech startups. They'll move to a state in Nigeria that has introduced, or is planning to introduce API integration for ride hailing platforms in the state. My name is Oluwani Femikola Olle. Your host for today's podcast. [00:00:39] Speaker B: With me in the studio is Bolo and Chimgozrim. [00:00:45] Speaker A: Now let's just get into the stories. A nigerian startup, dpa, shut down in the course of the week, and there have been a lot of conversation around what the three year old startup is is doing. Sounds interesting, but the reason they had to shut down was because of finding a market fit generally around adoption. So I think we should just try a bit to understand what they do and why it didn't fly in the nigerian market where it's supposed to play. So, Bolu, can you give us like. [00:01:28] Speaker B: Okay, yeah, what they do is, I think it's something that one, it's not very common. Not even that. It's not common in Nigeria. I don't think I've seen anyone trying to do that. So one of the investors that invested in them back in 2021 described it as an API based payments layer where fintechs can enable money movement natively from within their respective wallets and apps. So we did a feature on them, I think was in 2021. And from that feature, what I understood that they were trying to do was to make it possible to move money within your fintech apps, right? And even regular apps are not fintech apps, but use wallets, move money between all those platforms without having to route through your bank. So basically, if, say there's a food delivery platform that I use and that food delivery platform has a wallet, right, which I can fund to pay for my deliveries, I can fund that wallet through, say, my Piggyvest, for example. So normally, if I wanted to do that, right, I would probably have to send the money to my bank from piggy first to my bank from my bank to that wallet. So they want to, don't make it possible to just go straight from that food delivery app. And then one of the funding options will be funded through pgfs. And then I can also go to another platform that has a wallet and I can fund that wallet from that, from that food delivery platform to that other. So they just wanted to make it moving money around platforms very easy. So that's basically what I understand by what they wanted to do, what they wanted to do. [00:03:38] Speaker A: So within the three years that they've operated, how many times have they reached because there were talks that they returned investors money? [00:03:50] Speaker B: Okay, I think they've raised only once, I think, uh, 2.1 million twice. Okay. Uh, I think the two of the 2.1. [00:04:03] Speaker A: So um, so I'm just trying to get a picture of what happened within, within that time where they were trying to find a market fit and get people to adopt, get platforms to adopt it. So I understand that, um, especially in the fintech space, startups may not be able to build the infrastructure they want. They just plug in, plug in, have a lot of plugins so that what they are doing can be seamless. So I'm just wondering why, why didn't, what DPA is doing, why didn't he fly in the market? [00:04:36] Speaker B: Okay, so this, the founders in the media blog post, and they said one, they gave two reasons, right? They said one reason why they were shutting down was because of compliance issues and also because the wallet system, right, many, it wasn't adopted the way they thought it would get adopted. So based on how I described what they wanted to do, it is important that many businesses, many fintechs use wallets because they want to make it possible for you to move money around within seamlessly between those apps. So if we are, if those platforms are not using wallets, it now makes it difficult for, because no one needs that service if they don't have a wallet. [00:05:30] Speaker A: But what is surprising, because the wallet adoption in the globally is experiencing like at least steady adoption. The global payments report expect digital wallets to grow at 15% annually. And wallet adoption is moving the same, playing side by side with card adoption. So it's like the second to be adopted after card adoption. So we're expecting it, maybe they actually expected it, that the same way some of the things that have been brought on by fintech platforms have been adopted, it's the same way this will also be adopted. So, but I don't know if it's safe to say that the P's solution came to the market too early. [00:06:27] Speaker C: Let's see. Let me add some things. First, is it's not just about every business is in, so almost all of index have wallets, if not all of them have wallets. So that first layer of adoption is not a problem, which is so if you look a lot of the first, the investors in their proceed rounds usually most of them are founders of fintechs. So I think Ezra, Prosper, Edenlife, they both invested in their seed round as well. They also had more founders. So what this does for you is that at the very least, you have them. [00:07:09] Speaker A: The number of businesses that can always bring you on to start. [00:07:12] Speaker C: Exactly. And I know that ever since founder invested, and he and Eversend was also one of the earliest businesses integrated with them, Google Health, which is an online therapy platform, also invested in, not invested now, sorry. They also adopted the peer solution. So the problem there is, it's not really about the fintechs or the companies, it's about customers using wallets as a payment option. I don't know how many times you use your wallet to the wallets on your fintech apps or any app at all to make any payment. So I have a few apps that have, like, wallets in them. I don't necessarily use those wallets frequently, especially when it's a case of having to pay. I typically will use my card. [00:08:06] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:08:07] Speaker C: One reason is I don't like. It's probably because I'm not using those apps frequently enough, which is one of the problems if I'm not using it too frequently. For example, I would not put a card on, let's say, uber or both for some reasons. So, yes, it wasn't really. Not necessarily that businesses are not. Businesses don't have. Yes. So to the global payments report that you mentioned, yes, cards are not green as fast as wallets, but that doesn't. That's not in Africa, it's outside Africa. But here's also the key. The problem here, wallets are growing fast. For you to fund your wallet, you need cards. [00:08:54] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:08:54] Speaker C: So it's. Right now there's no. You still need your cards in most cases. [00:09:01] Speaker A: So it's not an argument of whether wallets will take over from card. I think it's just finding similar level of adoption. [00:09:09] Speaker C: Yeah, I'm coming to that. I'm just like, giving context. So, yes, in the US, Europe, most other countries, wallets have, like, more adoption because it's. They've. They've kind of built up to that level. But in Africa, there was a report by visa, I think last year, or in 2022, wallet adoption is not really a thing. In Nigeria, about. Just about 14% of Nigerians were using wallets to make any payments at all. So that's one problem. They were operating, or started operating from Nigeria. They were plans to, like, expand. So if Nigerians are not using wallets a lot, it's just natural that you would struggle with adoption. If they were probably in Kenya, that could have probably worked because there's like the whole mobile money came in. By the time they launched MTN, Adam got their momo license. So there was that. I think they got. I think MTN got the license a year after or so. Yes, there's all of that, which is one of the reasons why they struggled with getting adoption. So, yeah, it's a case of wallets growing, but not growing as fast as he had hoped. [00:10:23] Speaker A: It will not be responsible to keep burning. Invest our money with you up. So hopefully they revisit this solution sometime when the market is more ripe and ready for it. So let's just move from that to what Sim Shagaya is up to. Onibaj. Onibaja. Onibaja fund. I find the name quite interesting, but Simcoe, please help us. Just give us an overview of Sims vision or scope for that fund. [00:10:55] Speaker C: Yes. So I can't speak for what division is right now with much certainty. If you want to hear from Sim Shagahe, you have to check back next week. I'll have something for you. But let's see, let's do small predictions. Okay, so the honey badger phone. Basically, honey badgers are like these wild animals that are both fearless, resilient, they have tough skin, they don't, they don't cover under the face of threat. So I'm guessing if you're choosing that name for a fund that's supposed to back african founders, you want to back really bold. I know everybody uses that word here. Everybody says they want to back bold, ambitious founders, but yeah, that's the goal here. Something from the website says backing founders who are building african founders who are building global solutions. So my guess is that two sectors that they will focus on, one is SaaS and then the other would be artificial intelligence solutions. [00:12:03] Speaker A: Software as a service. [00:12:04] Speaker C: Yes, software as a service and then artificial intelligence solutions. So yes, that's what I am predicting they would do. I'm guessing your next question would be what is the implication? Okay, let's do implications. So, Simchia, guys, one of the most experienced founders around in Africa and getting the chance. [00:12:31] Speaker A: Serial entrepreneur. [00:12:32] Speaker C: Yes, serial entrepreneur. Beaut. Conga. But I think Lutzad before that was he motion abu something, an advertising company before conger, then us in and now Miva University. So all of that experience is very helpful for any founder who is just getting started. So I. [00:12:55] Speaker A: If. Even if he's the only one mentoring. [00:12:57] Speaker C: You, I mean, yes, even if you. So first, Sim doesn't do a lot of social media activity, so you probably don't get, like, hear his thoughts, except you're doing like, in person interactions. [00:13:09] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:13:10] Speaker C: So I guess it's going to be valuable for any founder to like, one on one, up close, have conversations with him. Yes. So beyond capital, they said they will try to like, basically provide the fuel for you to build your startup. And the good thing is, like I said, it's one of the most experienced founders around. There's this thing where founders usually say, we want to raise money from ex founders or ex operators because they understand the road we are traveling because they've been there before, done that and stuff like that. So this time around you have someone who's been there still doing that and he can, he can help you hopefully navigate through some of the challenges that you have. So, yes, that's the help. That's the, that's the hope. Um, we are not yet certain when investments will start. Probably going to take a while. I mean, they would have to probably raise a fund. I don't know if that is already in the works. Probably going to have to raise a fund initially. It's probably going to invest. It is a money, money from like friends, colleagues and all of that. But at some point you're going to have to raise a fund. Sorry. [00:14:20] Speaker B: Yeah, I was going to say you don't have to raise a phone. [00:14:23] Speaker C: Yeah. So at some point, probably going to raise like, at least start with a small fund and then see how it goes from there. I don't know if that's going to happen this year because right now it's pretty difficult to raise money. [00:14:33] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:14:33] Speaker C: So anybody? So, I don't know. [00:14:35] Speaker A: Yeah. So looking at how challenging it is to raise all the funding winter that is going on everywhere globally, those are the questions, some of the questions we'll be asking Sim that you will get to know next week. We're going to speaking with Sim concerning this fund and mostly about his intention and when it will kick off. So stay with us and we'll let you know on how that goes. Let's move to the last story for the day about state's intention to introduce an API integration for ride daily platforms in the state. And should I leave you to guess why or because if you've been following the trends with nigerian state and ride any platforms in the past few weeks, you would guess. But let's just let you know what it's about. [00:15:37] Speaker B: All right. Yeah. So the state is planning to integrate, create an API that ride a link platforms can integrate with. And the reason for this is so that those platforms or those companies can share that data with the state government. Interestingly, they made this announcement, I think, during an event that both hosted and which probably means that both is on board with real API integration things and data sharing. Yeah, data sharing stuff. So, like, single zoom. Let me anticipate your next question. You probably want to know, okay, why does Edo state government want to. Okay, Alikina, is that. Was that the next question? [00:16:24] Speaker A: Yes, the next question. [00:16:25] Speaker B: All right, so why does Edo state want these companies to share data? Why do they want them to integrate? So one of the things, because this. It has happened in Lagos State government. Right. Legal state government did the same thing. And they said the reason is because, okay, this data, this information tells us, you know, we know. Okay, how do people. What's transportation like? Right. What do people need? What do we need to improve on things like that. Right. And kind of makes sense. You want to know how people are moving. Well, but I don't know why you're doing that more with the ride alien platforms and not more with the bosses and the Kurokways that most of us actually use, because most of us don't have money for Uber, so. But those are the reasons why they want to know these things and also for safety. Right. So that if something happens, you know, authorities can get to this point, I think, wasn't laughing. [00:17:36] Speaker A: So I like that you mentioned the ideal thing that. [00:17:41] Speaker C: What they said. [00:17:42] Speaker A: Yeah, I do think that ideal reasons why any government would want to have access to commuters data. Chimkozum. Now tell us the things that are. Now I do that is possible for them to use the data for. [00:17:59] Speaker C: So plenty things are no idea. Okay, first of all, I believe they have bigger problems. [00:18:06] Speaker A: I mean, government. [00:18:07] Speaker C: Yeah, the government, in fact, the country. The states for. I don't see what I want to say, but I think that the country has bigger problems than trying to get data off Uber and boat and the other guys, because I'm not. I don't think you just stop with Uber and Bolt. Right. So we have bigger problems than API integration, which I don't even know what. I don't even know the technological capacity they have for them to do all of this. But let's. Let's leave that one aside. Okay, so why do you want to do this? You. Let's. Let me start with the funny reason. You want to improve security, bro. Lives are still unsecured in the country, and you're struggling to do that one. [00:18:52] Speaker A: Baby steps. [00:18:53] Speaker C: Baby steps. You should take baby steps in other ways because I don't see how knowing what happens during rides is going to improve security. So first problem is, at least with what we've seen in Lagos, the government wants live data. Uber says, no, we cannot give you live data. So there's still that fight. We don't want to give you live data. We can't give you live data. And personally, I would not want the government knowing my movement in real time. In fact, if there's a way for you to find out my movement after, like, 70 years, fine, I'll do that in real time. In Nigeria, that's not exactly a mouthwatering prospect, so I do not know why they are. That's the hue they want to stand on, not sit down. But, yeah, that's up on security. I do not see how it solves security problem either way. On the other part, I agree that having that data can help with. With planning, infrastructure planning. Yes. Only problem now is there's no evidence on ground that you're using data from any other source for your planning. So I do not know what's going to change. Yes, because this is, like, for urban planning. Okay, we are going to talk about this later. But in others, like other countries, like in the US, where Uber was asked for similar data, the idea was, okay, um, should we. We want to know one where people get the most rides from where they stop. And the reason, one of the reasons they gave was, okay, we want to know how you plan our roads. Right. So you. If you drive around Nigeria, you see where they say, um, not parking allowed, stuff like that. They would. They wanted a situation where, okay, we can designate certain places for drivers to park when they're waiting for a ride. So I've also heard of cases where Uber drivers or their passengers are. Uber drivers mainly have to, like, roam around an area for a bit while the passengers come down to meet them or while the riders come down to meet them. So perhaps if the government has data on where these guys typically experience this. Yeah. Then they can say, okay, we are designating these areas for you to park and wait for. All right, that's. Perhaps that happens. [00:21:13] Speaker A: Like I said, no precedence. [00:21:14] Speaker C: And, yeah, we don't have any proof that, okay, you've really, really used data to solve the problem. But I would also play Zdavos advocate, Nabi Ngo's advocate. Maybe this is when they would turn a new leaf. I mean, we can't really say, this might be the one time when they decide, okay, let's. Let's use this data or could this just be, oh, Lagos is doing it. Why not? Why not Edo State? What's stopping us? [00:21:43] Speaker B: Another thing that makes me not very comfortable with this data sharing is in Lagos state in 2020, they signed an agreement with Uber. All these yelling companies that, okay, you share data, and it wasn't live data. Right. Which is what Uber has an issue with, why they are having issues with the Lagos. Yeah. So Uber said, oh, we'll share data. Right. And decide sharing their data via. They call it a secured folder. Right. But now. But now the government now wants. Now wants to change it to live data. And they decide they want to identify riders and drivers so that if there's an emergency. Right. So why are you so worried about people in alien rights, for example? Why don't you worry about the common man? [00:22:37] Speaker A: No, I understand. No, I don't understand. So I'm trying to say that, okay, if you want to monitor something or like, look for a trend or something, this is easier with structured platform. They already have existing infrastructure that they can use to transmit this thing with them. Most of these people, they have their own monitoring rooms where they used to monitor their very move. And all they have is. But yes, wait, I'm coming. So I understand. So I won't even say, these riding platforms, maybe they are trying to protect their riders or something. I don't know whether they're trying to protect their customers or just trying to make sure their own privacy setting and privacy policy is not bridged in the process. But I think we should talk about the possible implication of sharing your data with government. What could go wrong? [00:23:36] Speaker B: What could I want? [00:23:38] Speaker C: Everything that can go wrong can go wrong. [00:23:40] Speaker A: You know what I think could go wrong? There has been different cases of data on government platforms making it to the dark web being sold, publicized. And we understand how the government. Exactly. Every other day I have this was ethical card that we just see something about. Is it, is a. Is it, was it Palestine? [00:24:10] Speaker C: Pakistani. [00:24:11] Speaker A: Pakistani. Right. Thank you. And I just. She shares random. Anytime you see something like Nigeria in it, he just shared this one. They are. They are marketing this one. They are trying to sell this one. I know. And Emmanuel, when Emmanuel was still reporting about that space in 2021, there are times that we just reach out to the government and this is what we found and zilch. Nothing. Nothing. Did, not anything. So just imagine if a platform is sharing live data with government and there's no secured place that it goes to and it gets out, somebody will know when I went to the hospital or when I went to see my parents or something like that. And I'm at risk. So there are a lot of things could go wrong. A lot of things could go wrong. But I think government has to find efforts to build a reputation that would tell citizens that whatever it is that is getting to us is safe, you know. But no, I don't think Nigeria government. [00:25:12] Speaker B: Is actually not saying because of their own privacy policy, but what they are afraid of is, you know, lawsuits and things like that. [00:25:21] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. [00:25:21] Speaker B: So, I mean, I'm looking after them. [00:25:26] Speaker C: I mean, Nigerians even have this. Trying to drag out the lawsuit. Is that. That details. So I was, I think Uber has had this issue in the US where the US government, I think even in Canada, they were asked to like, share their data. [00:25:42] Speaker A: Is it live? [00:25:43] Speaker C: So that was a problem. They didn't, they. I think initially there were some. Should we give you live data or not? But okay. Yes. Did not give live data in some cases, but finally we. I think so they have data like for different areas and they have data on airports. So what I, what I found out is they could actually get, like, they were sharing data on the vehicles bit identification, like plate number. So once you have my plate number in any structure system, you should be able to find who I am. So they were actually sharing that data with the government. Although there are some cynical people who said, well, the reason they released. So it's called the trans, I think, Uber transparency report. The reason they released that report was so that they could get the public to kind of fight for them against the government. I think it makes sense because really that data is when I said I wasn't very comfortable. Because imagine the government. Yes, I know you probably know my house, but now imagine, you know where. [00:26:50] Speaker B: I am at any point. Yeah. [00:26:52] Speaker C: Like imagine, you know, that five times in a week I have to be at a specific place at a specific time. [00:26:58] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:26:58] Speaker C: Assuming I use Uber frequently. [00:27:00] Speaker A: All right, Dylan. [00:27:02] Speaker C: I mean, it's not exactly an exciting. [00:27:05] Speaker A: Yeah. So, um, I think it's still a long. It's still going to be a long fight. Um, I don't know how many rDNA platforms have considered to the one that is going to. Going on in Lagos. Both has considered to share live. [00:27:20] Speaker B: Um, so from what, um, the minute the commissioner for transport said, he said, um, uber is the only one that is yet that is not expressing their disappointment in Uber and all those ones. But the fact is Uber is the only one that is saying eleven pushbacks. [00:27:42] Speaker A: Yes. [00:27:42] Speaker B: So I don't know if that automatically means right now because the government knows where I am at every point in time, whenever I use boots, I don't know. But what they said is, Uber do better. Give us life data. [00:27:58] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. We just hope that this gets sorted and no one's right is breached, is breached in the why saying amen. No one's right is rich in the process. Yes. That's it from us today at the tech Point Africa studio for the tech Point Africa podcast. As usual, please don't forget to like subscribe and come for Peach Friday. [00:28:26] Speaker C: Yes. [00:28:27] Speaker A: Yeah, please don't interrupt me. [00:28:29] Speaker B: Wait, sorry. [00:28:31] Speaker C: Welcome for Pitch Friday. [00:28:32] Speaker A: Please, he's still interrupting me. [00:28:35] Speaker C: Please put my flyer on the screen. [00:28:37] Speaker A: Oh, God. [00:28:38] Speaker C: Okay. Yes, there's video. [00:28:39] Speaker A: Okay, next week, Friday, the second Friday in the month of April is speech Friday, where we bring together early stage startups to speech, talk about their solutions, and they receive feedback from the audience. We can't decide the audience. Sometimes there are, there are, what do you call them? There are VC's in the audience. You can't know. There are investors in the audience, you can't know. [00:29:10] Speaker C: There are journalists in the audience that they should come. So next week, the CMO of Piggyvest would be present to share, help you give us things about getting customers. So everything around the marketing effort, it's not like he would tell you exactly what they are doing, but it's going to give you all the insights he has learned from doing that for the past eight years. So if you want to hit like 5 million users in the next eight years, you know what event is? Zone Tech Park? Bagada Expressway. Expressway. 03:00 p.m. I think. I don't know if Friday is a public holiday. I'm not sure when I, the next. [00:29:52] Speaker A: Public holiday is on Wednesday and Thursday. [00:29:56] Speaker C: But anyway, I mean, you should try and come. Yeah, I promise you. Enjoy it. And usually we have small jobs. [00:30:03] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:30:03] Speaker C: Not like I can promise you anyone this time, but yes. [00:30:07] Speaker A: So if you, if you're building a tech product or you have a business you're running, this is something you would want to attend. Because why are you building, why are you doing, why are you offering those services if not for customers? And if you can't get the customers, how do you make profit? So come and learn from people that have been doing it for years, especially in the tech space, and you'll be better for it. So don't forget to drop a comment for us wherever it is you're listening to this. You can also drop us a reaction on Spotify. If you are listening on Spotify, any other platform you are listening for from, please reach out to us and also you can send us feedback on podcasts at Techpoint Africa. Podcastechpoint Africa. You can also read all the latest news in the african tech space on Techpoint Africa. Techpoint Africa don't forget our newsletters that are running currently running Techpoint Digest, modern workplace newsletter and equity merchant. We are still expecting one more newsletter and it's second quarter. We are hoping the newsletter starts soon. Thank you for joining us once again and see you in the next one. Bye.

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